Apparently, some of the ex-members of Toronto screamo band Die The Villain aren’t doing as well as they claim.
After singer Dannie Wright left to join Burlington dance/rock band SlowMotionNoise, and to get away from the “bt00tal” direction the band was going, the four remaining members decided to form a heavier band. They put up a MySpace page promising music soon, but have yet to deliver. Actually, the lead guitarist left the band a couple of months back.
Now, some of the members have asked Dannie to come back to form a pop/rock band. Real br00tal, right? Throw up your metal claws and scream “DOO WOP DOO WOP”! For those who know these guys, we can recall the drama and sh*t talk that went back and forth on their MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter pages.
Rumour has it, Dannie refused the offer to focus on his current band SlowMotionNoise and his other projects on the go… or maybe the boy has some sense after all and knows to stay away from that drama waiting to happen!
HIM (His Infernal Majesty) are an alternative metal band from Helsinki, Finland. The band describes their music as ‘love metal’. The current line-up consists of: Ville Valo – lead vocals, Mikko Lindstrom – lead guitar, Mikko Paananen – bass guitar & backing vocals, Janne Puurtinen – keyboard & backing vocals, Mika Karppinen – drums & percussion.
HIM released their debut album Greatest Love Songs Vol.666 in1997 and have since gone on to produce 6 more albums, the latest being Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, based on Ville Valo’s experiences of falling in love. Recording began on 3rd August 2009 and it was released on 8th February 2010 here in the UK.
This album shows a return to the more familiar style of the earlier Razorblade Romance and Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights albums. Although delightfully melancholy it still manages to remain very catchy and slightly poppy while still being full of Ville’s trademark emotional vocals and lyrics. It’s definitely the most commercial album they have ever produced.
The lead single from Screamworks, Heartkiller, was released in December ’09 as a digital download, whetting the taste buds of fans, then released in “hard” format in February the week before the album. It really sets the tone for the whole album with its radio-friendly melodic feel.
The second single from the album, Scared to Death, is one of the more poppy songs, full of positive lyrics and an upbeat tempo. Katherine Wheel is definitely reminiscent of earlier singles such as Right Here in My Arms and In Joy and Sorrow but with a new edgy twist. Disarm Me (With Your Loneliness) stands out as being a beautiful ballad with a brilliant guitar solo, and a sing along chorus that’s bound to be a hit during live shows.
February 25th 2010 was the release date for three HIM singles on Rock Band: Heartkiller and Ode to Solitude from their new album, and the old favourite Wings of a Butterfly from Dark Light. On 25th March the band asked fans to film themselves performing ‘Heartkiller’ and to upload it to HIM’s YouTube channel in an attempt to set the record for the largest global Rock Band performance.
HIM also have a side project band called Daniel Lioneye, formed in 2001. This consists of several HIM members including Lindstrom, Paananen, Puurtinen and Valo. They are due to release their second album ‘Vol II’ on 27th April and is said to be heavier than their debut and influenced a lot by black metal, a completely different style to the easy listening HIM.
HIM are currently touring the United States and Canada with a return to the UK in June for Download Festival, playing alongside bands such as Stone Sour, 30 Seconds to Mars, Bullet For My Valentine and A Day to Remember.
Overall the album has taken a very Americanised direction, with punky riffs, catchy guitar solos and upbeat vocals. With a mixture of crooning for the emo generation and heartfelt screaming this album has completely moved away from the harsher, heavier Venus Doom to something more melancholy and accessible. This album will not fail to attract new fans whilst still pleasing the established fan base.
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Our latest interview is from Sweden’s fresh and alternative post-hardcore/metal band A Hole Inside. To accompany their new EP The Face of Ignorance, they’ve given us an interview. Read on to find out all about them, and what makes them much more interesting than the average post-hardcore wannabes…
Who are you, and where are you from? Who are your band members?
We are a metal/hardcore/pop band from the deepest forest in Sweden. But we look more like some type of pop-rockers, haha. We listen to alot of pop actually, but we try to play some old school hardcore with a modern touch. We like that raw emotion in hardcore, and those catchy pop choruses. The love for the contrast of those two things was what got us all together.
We all live in a small town, Kinna, Sweden. We started because we just wanted to make music that we love to listen to. Our band right now consists of Me (Marcus Carlzon) on vocals and rhythm guitar, Simon Hassellund on lead guitar, Joachim Ragnarsson on bass and Aron Bergstrom on drums. We are planning on adding another member so I can just do vocals.
What genre(s) do you play? Which bands most inspire you?
I don’t know what to say really, I think we would fit in the post-hardcore/metal category. Our sound is pretty old school hardcore with a new touch. We don’t want to sound like any other band out there, we want to sound like us. We listen to alot of different genres and bands but I would say the bands that inspire us the most are the ones that write really great songs. If would had to pick some bands from the HUGE list of bands we like I would say bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars, Raised Fist, From Autumn To Ashes, Yellowcard, Story Of The Year and A Day To Remember… oh yeah, I can’t forget Slipknot, In Flames and Metallica.
Tell us a bit about how you formed. What attracted you to each other musically?
I (Marcus) always wanted to play music and start a band since I was a kid, but didn’t get into it until I was maybe 18 (I am 22 now). I started to take singing lessons and one of my friends hooked me up with this cool dude that played guitar. We met at his place and wrote our first song ever, “Failed”, which is on our first EP “Steps We Have To Follow”.
We were so stoked we could write a song that we loved that we started to search for other band members, and found some not-so-good dudes to play with. We tried to play covers at first but it was so boring we started to write more songs. There were two songs that we played for four hours every day for like three months before we decided that the other members had to go. So me and Simon started to write songs in his bedroom, which turned out to be the six songs that are on our first EP. We had all the songs shittily recorded in my basement, and asked various people if they could play bass since we thought we needed that.
And that was how we found our drummer Aron: we asked him if he could play bass but he said “No, I can play guitar but I’d rather play drums because I’ve been playing for 12 years!” So we sent him the songs and he was super-stoked! We drove to his place in the middle of the night to talk to him, and then started to rehearse the songs immediately. Eventually we forced a friend, Joachim, to start to play bass (he had played guitar before) to complete our lineup.
So there we were in the middle of the summer 2008 with 6 songs written, and we were super-stoked about it so we recorded them only one month after, with my friend Andreas Sjödin. He really helped us out since we didn’t know shit about recording because we’d never done it before.
As to how we were attracted to each other musically, we all had the same musical taste and what agreed on what we wanted to sound like. We wanted to be some kind of old school hardcore band with new influences: we all liked From Autumn To Ashes, Raised Fist and other similar bands. But we also liked also alot of pop/punk rock bands such as Yellowcard, Sum 41 and Saosin. We just loved what was coming out of us and wanted to do more. So we just kept writing and writing and having a good time.
Were any of you in any bands previously? Any stories about them?
Simon was in a band: they had actually really good songs and they were only fifteen at the time. The drummer in that band formed another band which is going really well (they won the Emergenza Music Festival, have had tours in Europe, etc). I was supposed to sing for them but I was too late, haha. Aron had been playing in school for like 10 years and I don’t really know if he had a “band”, but I know he played with some deathmetal band, but other than that I actually don’t know, haha. Joachim had never played an instrument except a little guitar, so this was pretty fresh for all of us. We just evolved with each other, even Aron who was actually great from the start. I would say that he is ten times better on his instrument than all of us, haha. He is fucking crazy. I think this is very important for us, since we’re so rhythm-oriented. So there aren’t many stories, this is pretty much our first real band.
What’s happening for you in the next year? Any plans to tour, or release records?
We’re planning on doing shows around Scandinavia, and are gonna look for opportunities for a European tour in 2011, but we know it’ll be hard. We have to save up alot of money for that so we can do it. We are also gonna add a band member, so I can concentrate on vocals. Joachim is gonna take my place as rhythm guitar player since he writes alot of songs on guitar. I think our sound will get so much better when I can just concentrate on singing and not playing riffs and all that stuff. It will just sound better and we will have a better show! So we are gonna find a bassplayer that can both sing and scream since I want to use more harmonies and multi vocals stuff. I love that stuff like Mayday Parade, Taking Back Sunday… so cool to have multiple vocal melodies and all that stuff.
We just released our new EP “The Face Of Ignorance”, which is really well produced. We worked our asses off on those songs! We sold everything we had to be able to record them in a real professional studio with really good sounds. We are gonna try to get some label attention maybe, see if there is any interest in our sound. We are also on Panic & Actions compilation “Burn All The Small Towns II” with bands such as Adept, Chemical Vocation, Herbrightskies. I hope that is going to give us some exposure.
What are your ambitions as a band? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
Our main goal is to be a professional touring band, making a living on the road. We know we have to sacrifice alot and work hard but we are willing to do so because we feel that this is what we want to do. In five years I really do hope that we can achieve that, but I know this stuff takes alot of time and investment, and you never know what happens but thats our main goal. Maybe we won’t reach it but then we can at least look back and be proud of what we have achieved for the rest of our lives. I would hate to have to do a job that I hate… I want to do what I love to do.
Why should people come see you live, or listen to your records? What makes you stand out from all of the other bands out there?
We don’t try to imitate anyone else. We move on stage as we want to, we don’t have any stage moves, we just rock our hearts out I would say. We look as we want to, we are not the typical emo-postrock band, we are just normal dudes that like to play music. We aren’t aiming for some type of image: even though we know that that’s important, we don’t want to conform to some bullshit stereotype. We want to be US, no-one else.
As I said earlier, we don’t want to sound like any other band. And I can honestly say that we don’t: I am very proud that we have achieved that, even though I know our music is not THAT original, but then what music is? Everything has been done 100000 times before in different ways. I mean, how easy is it to write an original metal riff in 2010? I hope you get my point. We are always trying to find influences in other music such as classical, reggae or even just brain-dead radio-pop.
I think that people would want to listen to us because we have very raw, emotional songs. We don’t overproduce our vocals, for example: I like it clean, with a raw feeling, no autotuner, no distortion pedals on screams, nothing. I want it to sound like it’s live, I don’t want to make stuff up in the studio that we can’t do live. I would say we are a much better live band than a studio band. I can’t get the same feeling in the studio on my vocals as I do live, because I don’t get that kick that you need. But, well, we sound good on record too, haha!
All the best bands have enemies. Who are your enemies? Could you beat them in a fight? We need to hear about the beef.
We don’t have any enemies, we are our own enemies. When you doubt yourself you’re the worst enemy you can have.
Anything else you’re burning to say?
I would just like to say that if you have a dream of learning something: dancing, painting, whatever… follow that dream. I dreamed of playing guitar and singing my whole life, but I didn’t start till I was 18. I have never regretted that, and even though I maybe won’t reach my goals of being a professional musician, at least I’ve learned something that I never thought I could. Four years ago I couldn’t play a chord on a guitar, I couldn’t sing in tune. Now I’ve recorded 2 EPs and one album with my other band, have lots of good reviews, have toured Scandinavia and have recorded a music video. I never thought I would do that, honestly.
I just want to engourage people to follow their dreams, I don’t like people that just talk and talk. That’s what the song “I Don’t Have My Life As a Job” on our new CD is about. I’m tired of people complaining about their situations without doing anything about it. I know there are alot of people who are burning to learn to play guitar and such but don’t because they think they can’t. All I’ll say is that I couldn’t before either; I was the worst singer and guitarist four years ago, but alot of practice and as I said PATIENCE can do so much for you. Never give up. I know I’m not a rockstar, but at least I can say that I overcame my fear of not learning what I always wanted to learn. This is not me bragging about myself, this is me saying that you’re the only thing that’s in the way of you doing what you want to do. It’s all in your head.
I will finish with a nice quote from Joan Of Arc: “All battles are first won or lost in your own mind”.
We hope after reading this you see like us that there’s more to A Hole Inside than most of the other new bands out there. To follow what they’re doing, and to listen to some of their music, make sure you visit them at their own website, or on MySpace or Facebook:
What are you waiting for? These guys should become part of your regular playlist!
Are you a band that wants an interview like this? Then visit our interviews page to find out how to get one:
So, Sean is from Sheffield and has his fair share of tattoos . He has a very alternative style: his stretched ears, pierced bridge, and chest piece are all part of his image.
So what does Mr Fletcher have to say about his tattoo work?:
“The first tattoo I ever had done was a small diamond on my neck, I actually went and got it done during a free period at college. From then on I was hooked: I have a bit of a thing for birds and diamonds and any thing bright and new school. The swallow on my neck is my favorite, it means a lot to me and I had it done at a high point in my life, so it will always be there to remind me of that time. Looking toward the future, I think its going to be my arms next. I’m thinking of keeping it bright like my chest piece. just lots of little things all linked up.”
So, you have heard Sean’s story and you now know which are his favourite tattoos, but what do you think? What do you think he should have done next? What pieces of his work do you like? Which don’t you like? Let us know, and let him know by visiting him at Facebook!